Bearcat Recruits Ready To Go

By September 19, 2014Sports, Sports News

From CBC Athletics.

With the school year a few weeks old, and Bearcat tryouts complete, the 2014/15 Bearcats season is officially underway.  And with a new year comes new hopes and new expectations, both of which are high around Columbia Place.  After a successful 2013/14 season, which saw 2 teams qualify for the post season, Women’s Basketball enter the win column once again, and Men’s Volleyball represent BC at the CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Tournament for the 3rd time in 4 years, all four teams have reloaded their rosters and are ready to compete with the best teams in the PACWEST.

Cover photo: 2013 Women’s winning basketball squad (CBC photo)

Women’s Basketball

For the Women’s Basketball Team this means building off one of the most successful seasons the team has had in the past 3 years.  In only her second year, former Head Coach, Tamara Larson was able to lead the women’s team to one of their most competitive seasons and to a much sought after regular season win.  This year, with Larson on the roster and Interim Head Coach Angela Booy at the helm, Women’s Basketball is looking to continue making forward progress.  After retaining 12 athletes from last year’s team, and adding 2 more to the roster, the ladies are off to a great start.  Women’s Basketball is pleased to introduce the following recruits.

Harvina Kaler (5’8 ” Guard | Abbotsford, BC) – Harvina is joining the Bearcats after 2 years of studying Business in Alberta and BC.  As a former MEI Eagle, Harvina brings a wealth of playing experience and finesse to the Bearcats Program.  Harvina is a 3-time MVP for the Eagles and is a fast paced guard who read the court extremely well.

Tamara Larson (5’8″ | Harrow, ON) – After spending 2 years as the Bearcats Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Tamara Larson is taking a leave from coaching to hit the books and lace up the shoes once again.  Prior to arriving at Columbia, Larson spent 1 year at Indiana State University where she competed for the Sycamore’s, and 2 years at the University of Windsor where she red shirted and competed for the Lancers.  Larson will undoubtedly bring added experience, leadership, and scoring to the Bearcats team this season.

Men’s Basketball

On the men’s side, Head Coach, Matt Guynup is entering his sophomore season in charge, and is excited about his team’s potential.  Last season, in just his first year as Head Coach, Guynup crafted a quality squad, one that competed hard each and every night.  This season he is expecting much of the same with 5 returning players, 1 of which is entering his 5th and final year, and 7 new recruits.  Men’s basketball is pleased to introduce the following recruits.

Travis Muller (6’4″ Forward | Langley, BC) – Travis joins the Bearcats after graduating from Langley Christian where he competed in both volleyball and basketball for the Lightening.  In his senior year, Muller was named Most Valuable Player for Sr. Boys Basketball, and Senior Male Athlete of the year.  In addition to a nice outside shooting touch, Travis brings a great attitude and work ethic to the team.

Jamie Konrad (6’0″ Point Guard | Abbotsford, BC) – Konrad comes to Columbia from Abby Senior where he competed for the Panthers during his senior year.  Most recently Jamie led the Panthers to a ‘AAA’ Fraser Valley Tournament Championship, where he was named tournament MVP, and a 3rd place provincial finish.  Konrad is a great athlete with a great outside shot.

Malcolm Heinrichs (6’2″ Shooting Guard | Oliver, BC) – Malcolm Heinrichs, a 6’2″ Shooting Guard from Oliver, BC, is an all-around player.  Whether it is shooting the ball, rebounding, or playing defense, Malcom is a tough kid with a strong work ethic.  During his high school career at Southern Okanogan Secondary School, Malcolm earned Athlete of the Year 3 years in a row.

Sasha Otenga (6’2″ Shooting Guard | Abbotsford, BC) – Sasha Otenga, a local Abbotsford resident, joins the Columbia Men’s Basketball team after playing high school ball with the Yale Lions.  During his time at Yale, Otenga was named Athlete of the Year in 2012/13 and 2013/14.  Sasha has been described as an athlete who has great speed and is dangerous in the open court.

Elijah Calhoun (6’3″ Shooting Guard | Brooklyn, NY) – Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Elijah Calhoun is an experienced player and a vocal leader.  Calhoun played out his high school years at Heritage High School in Brooklyn, where he was named 2nd Team All District, after which he played 1 year of junior college ball for the Wytheville Wildcats.  Elijah is a strong shooting guard who is extremely competitive and will undoubtedly make an instant impact within the PACWEST.

Si Woo Youn (6’3″ Guard | Seoul, South Korea) – After spending 1 year playing for Concordia University College in the ACAC, Youn joins the Columbia Bearcats.  Youn, who is a hardworking athlete with a great attitude, is a great scorer and will be looked to specifically on the offensive side of the court.  During his high school career, Youn was named Top Scorer in his junior year, and earned All-Conference mentions in both his junior and senior years.

Braydon Peters (6’3″ Guard | Coquitlam, BC) – After spending 1 year at Douglas College, Peters comes to Columbia Bible College, and the Men’s Basketball Team, as the team’s only walk-on.  After a successful tryout, Peters earned his right to wear a Bearcats jersey, and has been described as a tough, gritty, physical player.  Braydon played high school basketball at BC Christian Academy.

Women’s Volleyball

On the volleyball court, the women’s team, under 4th-year Head Coach Duncan Harrison, welcomes 7 new faces to the line-up.  Last season saw the Bearcats earn a post-season spot in the PACWEST Provincial Tournament, where they were knocked out in the quarterfinals.  Following the season, the women’s team also saw the departure of a number of players who were key to the success the team has had over the last few years, including the team’s first trip to the CCAA Women’s Volleyball National Championships in 2013.  However, Coach Harrison had himself a very successful recruiting season, and the Bearcats have reloaded with 7 talented freshmen to join 4 returning players.  The Women’s Volleyball Team is pleased to introduce the following recruits.

Breanna Willms (5’8″ Setter | St. Catherines, ON) – Breanna Willms comes to Columbia from Eden High School in St. Catharines, ON.  While playing for the Eden Flyers Willms helped lead the team to 3 Southern Ontario Championship and a bronze medal finish at the Ontario High School Championships in 2012.  Breanna is “excited to live life in the west, grow in community and live out a long-time dream.”

Janelle Warkentin (5’10″ Middle | Abbotsford, BC) – Janelle Warkentin, a local Abbotsford resident, played out her high school years for the Eagles at M.E.I. Secondary.  During her time with the Eagles, Janelle was a part of the 2012 ‘AAA’ Sr. Girls Fraser Valley medalist team.  Janelle is “excited to make a lot of new relationships, to play a sport I love, to learn more about God, and to see how he will stretch me and challenge me in this next year.”

Nikki Valgardson (5’6″ Setter | Kelowna, BC) – After taking a year off from volleyball, Nikki Valgardson joins her sister Katelyn in a Bearcat uniform and is “excited to get back on the court.”  In high school, Valgardson played for Kelowna Secondary School, where she was named MVP in her senior year, a year which she also led as team captain.  After high school, Nikki spent 1 year in Cranbrook, BC where she began her college volleyball career, competing for the College of the Rockies Avalanche.

Jill Martens (5’11″ Middle | Boissevain, MB) – Hailing from Boissevain, Manitoba, Jill Martens joins the Bearcats Women’s Volleyball Team as a middle blocker.  During her time in Boissevain, Martens attended Boissevain Collegiate, competing for the Broncos throughout her high school career.

Courtney Dyck (5’10″ Middle | Saskatoon, SK) – Courtney Dyck joins the Bearcat volleyball squad from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  There she attended Centennial Collegiate, and competed for the Chargers Girls Volleyball Team.  Also while in Saskatoon, Courtney played for the Jr. Huskies club program, winning a Provincial silver medal in 2014.  Courtney is “excited to play volleyball at Columbia Bible College to pursue my love for volleyball and grow in my walk with God at the same time! “

Lindsey Doerksen (5’6″ Libero | Gem, AB) – Lindsey Doerksen is from Gem, Alberta and attended Rosemary School in nearby Rosemary, Alberta.  During her time there she earned Top Academic Athlete in both 2011 and 2014, and was named Valedictorian of her graduating class.  Lindsey is “excited to be at Columbia because I love volleyball and BC.  I’m also excited to meet volleyball girls that walk with Christ!”

Erika Zazula (5’8″ Libero/Leftside | Waldheim, SK) – Erika Zazula joins the Bearcats from Waldheim, Saskatchewan, where she attended Waldheim School and played girls volleyball for the Waldheim Raiders.  Zazula also competed for the Jr. Huskies club volleyball program.  Erika is “excited to be able to grow in my faith while playing the sport I love!”

Men’s Volleyball

After a successful 2013/14 season, Head Coach Phil Wiens and this year’s squad are focused and excited for yet another season of men’s volleyball.  Last year, the men made Bearcat history by finishing the regular season in 1st place, a first for any Bearcats team.   They then went on to achieve a 2nd place finish at the PACWEST Provincial Championships, which earned them the privilege of representing British Columbia and the PACWEST Conference at the CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championships.  There the team finished the year 4th in Canada and, for the 3rd time, earned the Most Sportsmanlike Team award.  This year, 5 returning players will be joined by 5 new recruits.  The Men’s Volleyball Team is pleased to introduce the following recruits.

Josh Goossen (6’4″ Rightside | Winnipeg, MB) – Josh Goossen, a 6’4″ outside hitter from Winnipeg, Manitoba, comes to Columbia after competing last year for the University of Manitoba Bisons.  In high school, Josh attended MBCI in Winnipeg and helped lead the team to a ‘AAAA’ Provincial Championship in 2012/13, where is was named Tournament MVP.  Also in 2013, Goossen help lead his club team to a National Championship and was named a Tournament All-Star.

Riley Wall (6’1″ Setter | Abbotsford, BC) – Abbotsford native, Riley Wall, joins the Bearcats volleyball squad after taking a few years off from the game of volleyball.  Wall attended M.E.I. Secondary from 2007-2010 where he led the Eagles to a Junior Boys Provincial Championship in 2007, and was named Tournament MVP.  Riley is a talented setter with great control, and is knowledgeable about the game of volleyball.

Mitchell Erickson (6’3″ Libero/Leftside | Saskatoon, SK) – From the Saskatchewan prairies, Mitchell Erickson will be making his college debut with the Bearcats this season.  During his time in Saskatoon, Erickson attended Centennial Collegiate where he earned Male Athlete of the Year in grade 10, and Men’s Volleyball MVP in grades 10, 11, and 12.  In addition, Erickson helped lead his club team to 3 Provincial Championships.

Tanner Johnson (6’5″ Middle/Rightside | Kaledon, BC) – Tanner Johnson comes to Columbia from Kaledon, BC and attended high school at Penticton Secondary.  While at Penticton Secondary, Johnson was given the Inspirational Athlete Award, and while competing with his club team, KVC, won an 18U Provincial Club Championship.

Avery Kooman (5’10″ Setter | Red Deer, AB) – From Lindsay Thurber High School in Red Deer, Kooman joins the men’s team after taking a year off from volleyball and studying at Red Deer College.  During his time at Lindsay Thurber, Kooman earned the Raider Award in 2010 & 2012, and the Most Improved Player Award in 2011.

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